The Kids Are All Right

My take on the latest survey of the under-30s can be read here. Not as liberal as some would tell you, but that makes their hefty preference for the Democrats that much more depressing for the GOP. Money quote:

Americans are a naturally optimistic nation; and the younger they are, the more hope they have: 31% of the underthirties even believe the chaotic occupation of Iraq has made the US safer. Fewer than one in five believe it has made the US less safe, and 38% believe that going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do, compared with 35% of all adults. If you want to find the most antiwar part of the population, you need to look at senior citizens, not the young.

Does this make the next generation more conservative? On some issues, the answer seems to be yes. Take abortion. The underthirties are marginally more opposed to abortion than their parents: One in four want it made illegal altogether. Thirty-seven per cent of the underthirties are pro-choice, compared with 39% of the population; 38% of the underthirties want more restrictions.

The young are also slightly less likely to support gun control than their elders, even in the wake of the college shootings at Virginia Tech. A solid 43% of the underthirties, moreover, believe being gay is a choice, compared with only 34% of the general population. Seventy-four per cent said that most people they know would not vote for a president who had ever used cocaine.

So are they a more Republican generation than Democrat? Here’s where the surprise is. Despite their marginally more conservative views on the war and Iraq, the underthirties are strikingly more committed to the Democratic party than at any time since the high-water mark of young Republicanism in the Reagan Eighties. Bush has turned out to be a reverse-Reagan.

Despite their marginally more conservative views on the war and Iraq, the underthirties are strikingly more committed to the Democratic party than at any time since the high-water mark of young Republicanism in the Reagan Eighties. Bush has turned out to be a reverse-Reagan. This has something to do with the fact that the underthirties are less white than their elders. But it’s hard to explain the massive gulf that has opened up between the parties by race alone.

You can read the rest here.